At the same time internet of things (IoT) devices and embedded software are becoming more complex, manufacturers are looking for ways to manage the increasing volume of edge hardware. According to Statista, the number of IoT users is predicted to grow to 6.5 billion by 2030, rising from 4 billion in 2020.
Memfault, a platform that allows IoT device manufacturers to find problems in their products over the cloud, has closed a $24 million Series B funding round led by Stripes with cooperation from 5G Open Innovation Lab, Partech and Uncork. The investment brings Memfault’s total revenue to more than $35 million after an $8.5 million cash infusion in April 2021.
“We have completed our journey to market in 2022 and are seeing rapid growth in the industry,” Memfault founder and CEO François Baldassari told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We are confident that our playbook for sales-growth is at a level of growth where we can double our investment and accelerate growth. This not a year ago; there is more potential in the market than at any time since we started the company.”
Baldassari first conceived of Memfault while at smartwatch startup Pebble, where he worked with Memfault’s other co-founders, Tyler Hoffman and Chris Coleman, for several years. At Pebble, the trio had to investigate hardware problems that are often difficult to develop remotely, which led them to create cloud-based software and monitoring functions to improve the process.
After leaving Pebble, François joined Oculus as head of the embedded software team while Hoffman and Coleman took senior positions at Fitbit. The infrastructure they created at Pebble stuck with them, however, and in 2018, we met to find Memfault.
“We provide the tools to eliminate risk, prepare for the absence of post-launch issues and deliver regular, better products,” François said. have said. “We can help companies deliver more value with continuous innovation behind the devices in the field while helping companies comply with environmental, privacy and security and avoid consent and crime.”
Stripping away the marketing fluff, Memfault provides a software development kit (SDK) that lets companies send performance data and fault information to a private cloud. There, it is stored, analyzed and analyzed so that engineers can access it at the relevant site to find anomalies and solve problems when they occur.
François acknowledged that some developers are trying to extend software trust tools to cover hardware or create in-house teams to deal with bugs. But he argues that both methods end up being more expensive and require more programming than using a service like Memfault.
“You can’t imagine all the uses that a user will put your device to, and there are some bugs that only exist one in 10,000 times. Trying to replicate that is almost impossible It’s possible,” François said. “Using Memfault, engineers respond to problems in minutes rather than weeks, most of the problems are ruled out and a clear picture of fleet health can be created at any time.”
While cybersecurity is not its main focus, Memfault has some opportunities to compete in startups like Sternum, Armis Shield-IoT and SecuriThings, whose platforms provide tools for security monitoring. across IoT devices. More directly, Memfault competes with Amazon’s AWS IoT Device Management, Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge, Google’s Cloud IoT and startups like Balena and Zededa, which sell electronic devices for seeds over the air to update and do high resolution.
Memfault claims to have a huge business presence, with “hundreds” of companies among its customers including Bose, Logitech, Lyft and Traeger. And he is not resting on his laurels.
To get ahead of the pack, Memfault plans to use the proceeds from its Series B to expand its software platform support (it recently announced Android and Linux SDKs) and invest in off-the-shelf integrations. box, in addition to its existing cooperation with. Semiconductor manufacturers include Infineon, Nordic Semiconductors and NXP. Memfault also plans to expand its roster, aiming to roughly double the size from 38 people to 80 by the end of the year.
François said Memfault is still exploring ways it can build AI into future products, although that work is still in its early stages.
“We see promise in AI’s ability to help us improve detection of anomalies and errors in classification,” François said. “We have collected the largest collection of hardware and firmware errors in the industry and hope to train AI systems on that data in the future.”
Asked about macroeconomic headwinds, François – who would not discuss earnings – admitted that the epidemic-spurred chip was not enough to affect Memfault’s customers and the business “a little bit .” But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Sometimes, customers can’t find enough chips to build the devices they’ve planned for. In other cases, they’ve switched to new chips that they didn’t have before. equipment,” François explained. “In these cases, Memfault has helped our large customers. Many experts tell us that they are not sure how their firmware will work on the ‘Frankenstein’ – but with Seen in flight data, checking and debugging data from Memfault, they have been able to deliver reliably.”
François volunteered that Memfault has kept “high” total revenue and low burn – “a lot of fire” refers to how much the company spends to generate each additional amount of the annual income. (The lower the range, the better.) Of course, it is difficult to evaluate without firmer numbers. But when pressed, François said that Memfault has not grown in value.
“We have always focused on building a long-term business,” François said. “Despite the slowdown in the economy, the global economy is moving towards more energy. Most customers and prospects have told us that they are satisfied use software and automation ahead of the competition.”